The Detroit Tigers will call up their top pitching prospect Jacob Turner to make a spot start Thursday.
Turner, who just turned 21-years-old last month, was originally the favorite to secure the Tigers’ fifth start spot out heading into Spring Training. The No. 9-pick of the 2009 MLB Draft, Turner experienced shoulder tendonitis that forced him out of the running for a roster spot.
In 11 starts in the minor leagues, Turner has a 2.83 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He earned a September call up last season, and posted an 8.53 ERA over three starts with Detroit.
Drew Smyly was placed on the DL after suffering what manager Jim Leyland called the worst blister he’s ever seen, opening the door for Turner. The 6-foot, 5-inch right-hander will face the St. Louis Cardinals and Kyle Lohse at Comerica Park.
Detroit could use a boost, as the team ranks 11th among the 14 American League teams with a 4.19 ERA so far this season. Also, the team will play 20-straight days after their day off Monday, meaning they will need all the pitching depth they can get heading into the All-Star break.
The Tigers, who were basically the consensus favorite to win the AL Central, had a 31-34 record entering Sunday. Both Rick Porcello (5.18 ERA) and Max Scherzer (5.76 ERA) are struggling this season, but it would probably still take a phenomenal show from Turner to bump either young veteran from the Detroit rotation.